Con O’Callaghan grabs four goals as Cuala advance with ease

Leinster club hurling quarter-finals: Champions Oulart-the-Ballagh and St Mullins advance

Con O’Callaghan scores one of his four  goals despite the tackle of Jim Fitzpatrick of Borris-Kilcotton during the AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship quarter-final at Parnell Park. Photograph:  Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Con O’Callaghan scores one of his four goals despite the tackle of Jim Fitzpatrick of Borris-Kilcotton during the AIB Leinster Senior Club Hurling Championship quarter-final at Parnell Park. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

 

Cuala (Dublin) 4-16 Borris/Kilcotton (Laois) 1-14

For a player who believes he’s a more natural footballer Con O’Callaghan sure is some hurler as his remarkable 4-3 haul at Parnell Park once again highlighted as Cuala claimed a place in the Leinster club hurling semi-finals for a second straight year.

A member of Jim Gavin’s All-Ireland winning senior football panel this year, the 2014 dual Leinster minor finalist might have been forgiven for being a little rusty. He was only used as a substitute in the county final win over Kilmacud Crokes and was added to the team before throw-in here yet left scorch marks on the turf almost immediately.

An eighth-minute goal after a run in from the left wing was matched shortly after by a second goal that came from a similar dash down the right.

His third goal approaching half-time took his tally to 3-3 at that stage and with a 14-point interval lead the beaten 2015 Leinster finalists weren’t going to be caught by their Laois opponents.

O’Callaghan, who hit 1-7 in this year’s Leinster U-21 football final win, still wasn’t done though and added a fourth goal from close range with 20 minutes to go.

Borris-Kilcotton, first time Laois champions, actually outscored Cuala in the second half but the damage had already been done, mostly by O’Callaghan.

“I still have to work on my hurling, my touch probably isn’t up to scratch,” said a modest O’Callaghan afterwards. “But I felt good physically so I just ran at my man. I’m working away and playing with Cian, my brother, at home and training up in Bray every week. You get your confidence from the training field and I was feeling good.”

Cuala will travel to take on St Mullins of Carlow in the semi-finals on November 20th.

Their progression was never in doubt with those O’Callaghan strikes putting the Dalkey outfit 3-11 to 0-6 clear at half-time.

Cian Waldron impressed too with 0-4 from play while free-taker David Treacy hit 0-6. All three players were withdrawn by boss Mattie Kenny in the second half as he assessed his bench options.

The team’s tempo dropped and Borris-Kilcotton, managed by Tipperary legend Ken Hogan, finished strong with 1-3 in the closing minutes including a goal from Patrick Whelan to put some gloss on the scoreline.

CUALA: S Brennan; O Gough, C O’Callaghan, S Timlin; J Sheanon (0-1), P Schutte, S Moran; J Malone, D O’Connell; D Treacy (0-6, five frees), C Cronin (0-1), C Waldron (0-4); S Treacy, C O’Callaghan (4-3), M Schutte.

Subs: S Stapleton for D Treacy (46 mins), C Sheanon (0-1) for Waldron (50 mins), B Fitzgerald for O’Callaghan, R Tierney for Timlin (both 55 mins), N Waldron for S Treacy (59 mins).

BORRIS/KILCOTTON: E Fleming; S Finan, B Stapleton, N Delaney; C Stapleton, M Whelan, J Fitzpatrick; P Whelan (1-2), D Fitzpatrick (0-2); D Quinlan, J Campion (0-1), S Dunphy; PJ Scully (0-6, fiev frees, one sideline cut), A Dunphy (0-2), N Foyle (0-1).

Subs: C Kilbane for Delaney (24 mins), S Phelan for Quinlan (h/t), E Fitzpatrick for S Dunphy, B Meade for Finan (both 44 mins).

Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).

Oulart-the-Ballagh (Wexford) 2-13 St Rynagh’s (Offaly) 0-9

Reigning Leinster and Wexford champions Oulart-the-Ballagh turned in a tremendous performance over the 60 minutes to register a comfortable 10-point victory over St Rynagh’s in their AIB Leinster Club senior hurling championship quarter-final at Wexford Park.

Oulart -the-Ballagh held their nerve despite the loss of key players as they totally dominated their opponents for the most part. With the experienced Keith Rossiter (back injury) and Nicky Kirwan (Gilmore’s groin) ruled out before the game they lost defender Eoin Moore to concussion midway through the opening half. Just to add to their problems they had experienced defender Paul Roche straight red carded two minutes into the second half, but the manner in which they overcame the setbacks speaks volumes for the young talent coming through.

“It was a great win and a huge step up on our county final performance, but then again Cloughbawn (county final) are a difficult side to play against,” said Oulart-the-Ballagh manager Frank Flannery

“We utilised our experience and this is now bonus territory we are in. We enjoyed our county final win, but we are now enjoying our hurling. The experience of last year along with previous years was evident against our opponents today. We are an experienced team and enjoying our hurling.

“Once the county final was over we had time to think about the club championship. We are in a difficult end of the draw but we have now coped with the Offaly champions and look forward to Kilkenny champions, O’Loughlin Gaels. I saw the Kilkenny final and they suffocated Ballyhale Shamrocks in the second half. They are a fine side but we are looking forward to meeting them in two weeks time in Wexford Park. We are in bonus territory now but look forward to moving on.”

Such was Oulart-the-Ballagh’s dominance through the opening stages they led 1-4 to 0-2 after 18 minutes, the goal coming through minor player Murtha Doyle, who was on the receiving end of a movement initiated by Dessie Mythen and Garret Sinnott to find the net from close range. Earlier they had points from Rory Jacob (two), Tommy Storey and Dessie Mythen, while St Rynagh’s opening two points came through Aidan Treacy and Matthew Maloney frees.

With David Redmond dominant in midfield, and Shaun Murphy outstanding at centre back, the St Rynagh’s attack was starved of quality ball, only managing a further point through the remainder of the opening period, a Joseph O’Connor effort from out of midfield. But with the Wexford champions tagging on five further points they looked comfortable at the break, leading 1-9 to 0-3.

Two minutes into the second half Oulart-the-Ballagh had Paul Roche dismissed on a straight red card following an off the ball offence, which left Michael Jacob, who had been introduced to midfield, dropping back into a wing-back role.

Rory Jacob and Matthew Maloney exchanged points inside the opening five minutes of the second half, while midfielder David Redmond fired over an inspirational point out of midfield to extend his side into a 1-11 to 0-4 lead.

However, St Rynagh’s were finding it difficult to fashion out scores with their short passing game making little gain against a determined home defence, who continually cut out any threat to goal with fine interceptions and quality clearance from deep inside their own half.

Although St Rynagh’s did manage two successive points through Aidan Treacy and Matthew Maloney frees, to reduce the deficit 1-11 to 0-6 after 40 minutes, it was the Wexford champions who took total control in the second half.

Playing into the breeze, they responded with points from Dessie Mythen and Peter Murphy, while it was sub Martin Óg Storey who closed out the scoring in the final minute finishing a Dessie Mythen pass to the net as the Wexford champions tasted victory once again.

OULART-THE-BALLAGH: C O’Leary; A Roche, D Morton, B Kehoe; P Roche (0-1), S Murphy, K Sheridan; D Redmond (0-1), E Moore; D Mythen (0-2), T Storey (0-1), P Murphy (0-1); R Jacob (0-6, 0-4 frees), G Sinnott (0-1), M Doyle (1-0).

Subs: M Jacob for Moore (inj, 21 mins); M Óg Storey (1-0) for Doyle (52 mins); B Dunne for Redmond (55 mins); N Redmond for Mythen (58 mins).

ST RYNAGH’S: C Clancy; D Maloney, D Shortt, B Conneely; C Hernon, A Treacy (0-3, all frees), S Kenny; G Kelly; J O’Connor(0-2); P Quirke, S Dolan, R Hughes; N Wynne (0-1), G Rafferty, M Maloney (0-3, one free).

Subs: N White for M Maloney (51 mins); E Woods for Quirke (53 mins).

Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow).

St Mullins (Carlow) 2-14 Raharney (Westmeath) 1-11

A wonderful individual display by Marty Kavanagh enabled St Mullins to defeat Raharney in an entertaining quarter-final clash in the Leinster club senior hurling championship in Mullingar.

Raharney were ahead by 0-7 to 0-5 when they scored the game’s first goal in the 18th minute via Robbie Greville. However, the Carlow champions replied with five unanswered points to leave the sides tied at the interval (0-10 to 1-7).

The Westmeath outfit were a point to the good 10 minutes into the second half when James Doyle scored a fine goal for the visitors. St Mullins led by two points with a matter of seconds left in normal time when Kavanagh sealed his side’s victory with a great goal.

Raharney finished with 13 men, both Ciaran Doyle and Robbie Greville being dismissed for two yellow card offences.

ST MULLINS: K Kehoe; P Doyle, J Doran, G Bennett; D Whelan, P Kehoe, G Coady; J Kavanagh, M Walsh; M Kavanagh (1-10, seven frees), J Walsh, John Murphy; John Murphy Jnr (0-1), S Murphy (0-1), J Doyle (1-2).

Sub: P Connors for John Murphy Jnr (54 mins).

RAHARNEY: A Doyle; S Quinn, C Jordan, D Giles; G Greville, P Greville, A Sheils; N Flanagan, C Boyle (0-2); R Greville (1-0), K Doyle (0-5, four frees), J Boyle (0-1); J Goonery (0-1), J Shaw (0-1), C Doyle (0-1).

Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).

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